Recycling takes on a whole new meaning in South Tyneside with bike reconditioning scheme

'Re-cycling' in South Tyneside has taken on a whole new meaning this Christmas thanks to a Council led initiative in which children’s bikes have been donated to be reconditioned for presents.

South Tyneside Council has donated 45 children’s bikes to Shields-based organisation, Sports Recycler, where they will be transformed to look as good as new.

The donated bikes had been used in primary schools to teach children cycling and safety skills and the Council now hopes the bikes can deliver a new lesson in how to reduce both waste and carbon emissions.

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Cllr Ernest Gibson, Lead Member with responsibility for climate change, said: “These bikes have been used in our schools for around five years now, and we have replaced them with newer models.

“However, the old ones are in perfectly good working order, so it made sense to donate them and allow the community to have use of them, particularly in the run-up to Christmas and when there is a nationwide shortage of bikes because of supply chain issues.

“This initiative promotes both active travel and recycling. Having set ourselves ambitious climate change targets, sustainability must be at the forefront of everything we do.”

The Council set a three-year target to cut carbon emissions by 4,285 tonnes by March 2023 and is already two thirds of the way to achieving that figure.

South Tyneside Council Councillor, Ernest Gibson (left), with Sports Recycler's Workshop Manager, Keith Thompson, and one of the donated balance bikes.

Trish Armitage, general manager at Sports Recycler, which is run by volunteers and depends on donations, said: “We are very grateful to South Tyneside Council for donating a brilliant stock of children’s balance bikes.

“These bikes, suitable for younger children, will enable a small child to gain confidence, reducing the need for stabilisers before graduating to a pedal bike.

“At this time of year, with bikes in high demand and short supply, and money in even shorter supply, these little bikes will make an excellent Christmas gift and make a lot of little children happy.”

The new bikes were initially purchased by the Council following a successful bid to the Government’s Capability Fund which allows local councils to implement transport and travel strategies to encourage more people to cycle and walk.

Further information about the recycling scheme can be found on the Sports Recycler website.

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